The Best White Cake Recipe {Ever}

This White Cake Recipe will quickly become your favorite for so many celebrations and events. This simple white cake recipe is easy to follow and yields a moist, tender white cake you’ll love.

White Cake Recipe | ©addapinch.com

Okay, you asked for it. I’ve gotten so many emails and comments asking for “The Best White Cake Recipe” since I posted my The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever} a while back. Believe me, I wasn’t ignoring you.

You see, I had my Grandmother’s recipe for a Vanilla Cake and I had the recipe for my Butter Cake, so, I started working on trying to take the best of those two recipes while making the cake decidedly white and perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, and yep, even weddings, if you’d like.

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My son declared this white cake recipe as “perfect” while Bart said, “Now, that’s cake.”

Umm, from him, that’s a good thing. I think.

My brother-in-law called me to tell me that this was to be his birthday cake every single year until the year he dies. We had a good laugh at that one, but I have to remember each June to make sure not to make him another version of cake on his birthday from this point forward. That’s pressure, because the older I get, the less I seem to remember. Heh.

My white cake recipe is a sturdy recipe. Tender, yet moist and holds together well from cooling to frosting to slicing and serving. It just works.

While many white cake recipes use only egg whites, I decided (after lots and lots of trying, mind you) that I preferred the flavor that the whole egg lends to the cake. While the cake isn’t stark white, it is still white.

Make sense?

White Cake Recipe | ©addapinch.com

 

I used my Fluffy White Buttercream frosting, which I doubled, when I frosted the cake, but you can really use whatever frosting is your favorite on this cake. Strawberry Buttercream Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting, Espresso Chocolate Buttercream Frosting? Any would be fabulous!

So, the next time you need a white cake recipe, give this one a try. I think you’ll love it!

Here’s my White Cake Recipe. My family calls it the best. Ever.

Yield: 12

The Best White Cake Recipe {ever}

Total Time 40 minutes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
This White Cake Recipe will quickly become your favorite for so many celebrations and events. This simple white cake recipe is easy to follow and yields a moist, tender white cake you'll love.
4.4 from 628 votes
Did you make this recipe?

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare three 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray or coated well with shortening or butter and floured, taking care to remove all excess flour.
  2. Cream together butter and shortening until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Slowly add sugar one cup at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each cup before adding another. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour milks and vanilla into measuring cup and whisk together with a fork. Add to butter and shortening mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  4. Gently stir all ingredients until well combined. Stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, making sure to have all ingredients mixed well.
  5. Evenly distribute cake batter between cake pans and place pans into oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool slightly in cake pans for about 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Frost cake as desired.

Notes

Some people have had problems with the cake not rising. Try creaming the butter shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Don't over beat when adding eggs and other ingredients, just mix gently until incorporated well into batter.
-This recipe makes approximately 24 cupcakes when cupcake tin is filled more than 3/4 full. When filled 1/2 full, this recipe makes approximately 36 cupcakes. Bake approximately 18 minutes.
- If you preferred the original white cake recipe, it used 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1 cup buttermilk with no whole milk.
- If you live in a high altitude environment, you'll need to make sure to follow recommended baking adjustments for your altitude.

All images and text © Robyn Stone for Add a Pinch

 

Here’s to good cake! Love ya bunches!
Robyn xo

I thought I would copy this comment from The Pastry Life, comment #1062 to this area of the post as it might be helpful to you.

“Hi there, I am a pastry chef and have lots of knowledge of cakes, and why they do the funny things that they do. Let me start of by saying this cake is delicious, moist and fluffy! This is thanks to the seemingly large amount of sugar and fats, so do not reduce the amounts or make substitutions! If you’re that concerned about the healthiness of this cake, you should probably just avoid it.

This cake does not rise much, but that does not negatively affect its fluffiness. I followed the directions exactly, except for one very important step which I believe is why my cake is so fluffy inside and did not sink. Cream your butter, shortening and sugar altogether until very white and fluffy (about 4 minutes). After that, follow the instructions to a T. If you overbeat after adding the eggs, they will produce a tougher cake. Take extra care while rotating pans as to not deflate the cakes, and resist the urge to open your oven door to peek except when you need to rotate.

This cake does form a bit of a crust on top from the high egg and sugar content, which makes it more difficult to tell when it is done. Your best hint is your nose. If you can smell cake, then check it! If its not jiggly, take it out and scoop a little bit out of the middle to see if it’s done (you’re gonna cover it with frosting anyway). Don’t trust the toothpick-test!

Sorry for writing a novel, I just know how hard it is to make a great white cake and this recipe is probably the best I’ve had yet, so it made me sad to see how many people were disappointed by it due to their lack of pastry knowledge and proper method.”

 

2,806 comments on “The Best White Cake Recipe {Ever}”

  1. I’ve made this recipe with Robyn’s Classic Vanilla Buttercream for my husband’s last 3 birthdays…. it is the BEST from scratch cake recipe I have ever had! It is rich and delicious with exceptional flavor and texture. The cake never lasts very long around my house! I’ll never make white cake from a different recipe.

  2. I made this recipe into cupcakes. Because it is so rich, they did adhere to the liners a bit. I increased the baking powder to 1 Tablespoon to ensure rising. I followed the pastry chef’s suggestion of creaming for four minutes. Otherwise, I followed the original recipe. The flavor was amazing.

  3. Hi!
    Is it possible to make this cake with 2 9 inch pans? I have 2 10 inch pans as well. I would like to make it for my husband’s birthday for tomorrow and I only have 2 of each! I made your chocolate cake last month for my son and it came out great in 2 9 inch pans!
    Thanks! 
    Alyssa 

    • I would also like to know if I can use two 9 inch pans. Do you think it will affect the bake?

      Alyssa, if you did use two pans, how did it turn out?

      • Hi April,
        The recipe makes enough cake batter for the three 9 inch pans I call for in the recipe. If you choose to only make two layers, you can make a few cupcakes with the other amount. Thanks!

  4. I made cupcakes for a birthday in the office Some with coffee icing and some with cream cheese icing. Huge hit! Everyone raved about them thanks for the great recipe

  5. I’m very excited to make this, ive been looking for a great white cake recipe. I was wondering if I can substitute the vegetable shortening for  more butter and if so what quantity would I use? 

  6. Hi Robyn do you think this cake would be do-able with almond milk and a substitute buttermilk? I wouldn’t ask except some people coming are dairy intolerant and I’d love to give this a go! Thank you in advance for your time

  7. I wanted to use this recipe in a marble cake (because it is awesome) any suggestions for a chocolate recipe that will work with it??

  8. This is now my go-to white cake recipe. Simply perfect.

  9. This is now my go to white cake recipe. Simply perfect.

  10. Can this be substituted with butter? Will it affect the fluffiness or texture of cake?

  11. I used self rising flour and it fell in the center, could that be the problem ???

    • Hi April,
      Yes, I’m afraid that is why it fell. For the best results, you will want to follow the ingredients and the instructions exactly as written. There is also a comment from a professional pastry chef who uses my recipe in his shop that I think may be helpful too. It’s shared close to the recipe. I share some detailed instructions in my blog post too. Hope this helps. Thanks!

  12. I made this today as a rainbow cake. It was delicious! Will use passion fruit curd to sandwich the layers together.

  13. Has anyone tried to make this with gluten free flour? This was my go to birthday cake recipe but my oldest daughter was diagnosed with Celiac last year so I’m having to replace all of my baked good recipe favorites with gluten free variations.

    • I did! It worked well! I just added a tsp of xantham gum for every cup used. My MIL can’t have gluten and using this for her wedding cake!

  14. What is the difference between this cake and your “Best Vanilla Cake”? Both contain vanilla extract so I wasn’t sure which one to use.

    • Hi Liz,
      Both cakes are delicious, but they are a bit different! I love them both!
      This Best White Cake is a 3 layer cake, has a few more steps to prep and is a bit more dense than the Vanilla Cake. The cake is more white in color than the Vanilla Cake. (Think wedding cake consistency.)
      The Best Vanilla Cake comes together a bit more quickly & easily and is a “sister” cake to my Best Chocolate Cake if you’ve ever made it. It has a moist, less dense texture than the White Cake and does taste more vanilla than the White Cake. I hope this helps and you enjoy the cakes! xo

  15. Do I use unsalted butter or salted?

  16. I wanted to drop you a note to thank you for this recipe! It always gets rave reviews. I have used it for wedding/birthday cakes and it holds up to fondant and stacking well This is my go to white cake recipe. It is perfect!

  17. Hi! First, thank you for all your recipes! I love them so much and always have success following your directions. 

    I was curious if I’m making this cake right. It’s really good, but definitely tastes and has the texture of a pound cake. (I love pound cake so no big deal) But I was wondering if it should be more light and fluffy? (Which my husband prefers) If so, what should I watch/do differently?

    • Hi Melissa,
      I’m so thrilled that you enjoy the recipes – I really appreciate your sweet comment!
      This cake is more of a dense cake with a heavier texture. I have some tips I’ve shared from a professional pastry chef just below the recipe to double check your steps -and I detail them all in the blog post as well. But do note this is a heavier texture.
      If you are looking for fluffier, you might want to try my Best Vanilla Cake or Best Chocolate Cake. I will say for the chocolate cake – don’t skip the boiling water part. It makes the fluffiest, moist cake!
      I hope this helps! Thanks so much! xo

  18. I make this recipe for every birthday party. People who don’t even like to eat cake end up eating the cake

  19. Hello!!! Can I substitute shortening with butter? Will it affect the taste and texture?
    Can I pop it in the fridge a day before serving?
    Thank!!

    • Hi R,
      It may have a slightly different look and texture. I prefer to use the shortening and butter as listed in the recipe for the best results, but you can do that if you wish.
      There is no need to refrigerate if serving it the next day. Just cover or place under a cake dome.

  20. I’ve tried a few different cake recipes and for some reason they never turn out right. This recipe turned out perfectly. I only put in 2 cups of sugar and I thought it was still too sweet, but my kids loved it and I really enjoyed it too. I thought this should be called a “Sugar Cookie Cake” because that is exactly what it tasted like. If you add cinnamon it could be a “Snickerdoodle Cake.” I’m making this cake for the second time today and I will definitely use this recipe (with less sugar) in the future.

    • Hi Kel!
      I’m so happy you enjoyed the cake! It’s one of our favorites too!
      I will advise though that you may want to be careful in changing the amounts of ingredients – like the sugar you mention using less of. I have shared a comment adjacent to the recipe from a pastry chef who bakes this cake in his business that may explain it better. It may work out fine for you but I just wanted to mention just in case.
      Thanks so much for the kind comment! xo

  21. Hi Robyn! First off I want to say I like this cake. Unfortunately,for me every time I go to rotate the cakes they deflate and sink in the middle, UGH! It doesn’t say in your instructions went to rotate them but unfortunately, I end up forgetting and try to rotate them towards the end of baking typically around 20 minutes in. My suggestion to those who are having this issue is to rotate early like 10 to 15 minutes in or don’t rotate at all and leave them alone. I’ve only made this recipe twice both times they sunk in the middle but, they still taste great.

    • Hi Sue! I’m so glad you like the cake!
      I’m sorry your cakes sunk. I think it is because you are opening the oven while they are baking. I suggest leaving them alone while they bake – I don’t rotate them at all. Hope this helps! Thanks!

  22. It would be great if you could add the part about not beating the eggs too much in the directions.  I mistook the idea of music after every egg to means it should be well beaten.  I did not know I shouldn’t have done this until after I completed the recipe.  Now I’m worried I used all those ingredients and time to make a not very good cake.  Thanks!

  23. Family favorite. Even the ones who “don’t eat cake”. 

  24. I have tried many vanilla layer cakes and this is by far the best! It is everything you want in a vanilla cake. Baked flat, great texture, beautiful color and amazing taste. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It will forever be in my rotation.

  25. Both my cupcakes and cake fell in the center… why do you think it would do that. Followed everything to a tee… so upsetting it tastes so good wish they would have turned out!

  26. Hi there, 
    I just made the cake and it tastes delicious, but it was a bit dry.  Did I maybe cook it too long or do others have this problem too?  

    • I’m sorry it was a bit dry, Katie. I’ve not ever had a problem with it being dry and I make it quite often. It could be that it baked a bit too long, but I’m not sure. I have some tips from a pastry chef in the comments close to the recipe that may be helpful. I’m so glad you liked the cake though. Thanks so much! xo

  27. Hi Robyn,
    I tried the best chocolate cake recipe today and it was better than I imagined, despite all the wonderful reviews 😋
    I would like to make the vanilla equivalent, I saw you said replace the cocoa and expresso powder with flour, but everything else remains unchanged? Also with this recipe could the shortening be substituted for oil?
    So glad to have found your site…my Husband is even more grateful 😁

    • Hi Sophie,
      I’m so happy you and your husband enjoyed the chocolate cake! It’s a fav around my house too!
      As far as the vanilla “sister” cake, I hope you try my Best Vanilla Cake!
      I don’t recall saying to just replace the cocoa & espresso powder with flour (I think that was a reader comment possibly), however the Best Vanilla Cake at the link I gave is the cake I created to be the vanilla equivalent of my chocolate cake.
      The Best White Cake here is very different from both my Best Vanilla and Best Chocolate Cakes.
      I hope this helps! Thanks – I hope you enjoy it as well! xo

  28. What icing did you use on this cake?  Can you please share the link?

    Thanks!

  29. Can I use fat free buttermilk? That’s all I could find in stores.

  30. Hi again,

    It was unclear to me if I needed to continue to beat with beaters after adding the eggs so I did.  The mixture seemed very thick to me.  Should it be?  In the process of making now 😂

    Thanks!

  31. I was looking for a few recipes for cakes and came across this one.  After several failures, I have found “the one”!!  I made it and had a family members tase and critique… well, I have to say, It’s a winner!  Thank you!

    One thing tho, I left it in the over a bit longer because I wasn’t sure if it was done, (the toothpick test didn’t help), therefore forming a crust around the sides… not bad, but not good if I want to bring this to a party.  Any suggestions?  Thanks so much.!

    • Hi Sarah,
      I am happy you enjoyed the cake! It’s one of our favorites. I have shared a comment from a professional pastry chef who uses my recipe that may be helpful to you. It is just below the recipe. I hope it helps Thanks!

  32. This is how cake should taste! Brought it to office and everyone loves it.
    Topped with creamcheese beaten together with whipped cream. But i still prefer the naked cake itself.
    Two thumbs up!!

  33. Hi,

    I am wanting to make a funfetti cake but have yet to find a good recipe.  Do you think adding some sprinkles in this cake would mess it up at all?  Maybe 1/2 cup jimmies?

    Thanks,
    April

  34. Hi I am writing to find out if I could use cake flour instead of plain flour and if so do I need to still add the baking powder and salt??????

  35. Hi! The answer to my question may be obvious, but if I am wanting to make a “funfetti” cake using this recipe, do you think I could just add sprinkles? Would there be any other subs/or changes your would recommend?

  36. Hi Robyn,
    Can I use this recipe to make it funfetti, I’ve baked many other funfetti recipes, but I love your recipe and wonder if it would work the same way?
    Kindly,
    Cristina

  37. I have made this cake several times and love it!  I’m making it for my daughter’s birthday party on Saturday. Can I bake the cakes tomorrow (Thursday) and refrigerate until I assemble and frost on Friday, or is that too long in the fridge before serving? Thanks!

    • Thank you so much – I’m happy you enjoy it! You don’t have refrigerate the cake – just cover it in an airtight container or wrap well after it’s cooled completely. It should be ok if you do this Thursday and then serve it on Saturday.
      I hope your daughter has a wonderful birthday! xo

  38. Hey there! I absolutely love this recipe!! I use it all the time! However, I do have a question and hoping you may have a suggestion. Most of the time when I use this recipe the top is crusty, however every now and then I get a beautiful soft top. I don’t know why most time the top bakes crusty and other times its nice, domed and soft. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Hi Kelsie!
      I’m so glad you are loving this cake! I would think that the times that you have the crusty top, it may be from slightly overbeating the cake. It could be that the power of the mixer is even higher than at other times. I would recommend paying really close attention to that the next time you make it and see if the top is domed and soft. If it is, then definitely right down exactly the setting on your particular mixer so that you get it the way you prefer it each and every time. 🙂 xo

  39. This is my go to cake. I’m making a wedding cake and wanted to make sure that I had THE ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, UNDENIABLY best white cake. I tried 4 different cakes in the past 2 days and none come close to this one. I could have saved a lot of time and money if I had just realized I already had the PERFECT white cake recipe. It’s in the oven right now. 🙂

    • Oh my goodness, Mary! This is such a wonderful thing to read. It is one of our family’s very favorite cakes and I’m so happy to hear that it’s going to be a part of someone’s special wedding day! 🙂
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment – it means so much to me! xo

  40. First, I love this recipe-and use it often-and it always turns out great! And then…SOMEHOW I screwed it up today, and I have no idea what i did. It took a good bit longer to cook, the was…greasy and almost spongy textured…like it was uncooked on the very top. Taste was fine, but I couldn’t use the cake. What did I do?!

    • Hi Janeen!
      I’m so happy to hear that you enjoy the cake! It’s a favorite in our family too!
      I’m so sorry to hear about the “mishap” cake. I can’t be sure what happened – but I’m wondering if it’s possible that you could have either added extra of an ingredient, or accidentally left out an ingredient…
      If you remember or figure out what happened, I’d love to hear what it was.
      Thanks so much, Janeen! xo

  41. I never leave comments but wanted to say THANK YOU! I made this recipe for a massive 4 tier unicorn cake for a baby shower and everyone kept talking about how delicious the cake was! I made zero modifications to the recipe and then froze the cakes for a few weeks, thawed them, and iced and then decorated them over several days. The cake didn’t dry out and was moist yet firm enough for decorating.

    I’ll absolutely try more recipes, thank you!

  42. Hi, loved the look of this cake, but making it in the UK and have converted them to grams but they haven’t risen. Anyone else from the UK converted the recipe successfully and had it rise? I want to make his for my wedding in April. Thanks!

  43. Every year I make this cake for friends and family, everyone loves it.

  44. I have not made thsi cake yet going to for my son’s birthday party. Go to make a half sheet cake do I need to made a double batch or how much for half sheet cake

  45. I made this cake for my Son’s 39 th Birthday, it was a big hit. I made a Ganage for the frosting & put z fresh rasberry sauce with Kirsh & rasberry flavor, iI also did Bavarian Cream between the layers ! It was Delish!! We were carving Pumpkins tonight & my two grandson’s put there orders in for their Birthday’s!!!!I definitley will  be making this my go to recipie !!! Thank You Debbie / Bay Village Ohio

  46. High altitude bakers! How did you adjust this recipe? Do you think adjustments are necessary? 

  47. Will this make a one or two layer quarter sheet cake? Do I change the cooking time? I’ve made this recipe multiple times in the past (round pans) and it’s the best!

  48. By far this the best white cake I ever made from scratch.Moist,tender.Just yummy.I plan to use it for my Daughter’s wedding cake!Everyone raved about it.Thank you for the recipe.

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